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Tenderloin Sandwiches

I've been thinking a lot lately.  About pork tenderloin sandwiches.  

When I was at the fair recently, I stopped and bought myself one and had a grin on my face the entire time while eating it because it reminds me of being a little girl.  They were a staple in our household when first moving to the States...those and bologna sandwiches.  
Moving to the States was a dream for me, but with that dream came prices...both figuratively and literally.  We had a house, but it was empty except for the bare necessities.  There wasn't much in the way of furniture except for the small kitchen table and the brown plaid couch we'd bought from an elderly lady that still smelled of her stale cigarettes.  Bed sheets were sown into curtains and we rocked out the orange and brown shag carpet like it was going out of style...oh wait.
But I loved it...all of it...shag carpet and all.  I loved eating tenderloin sandwiches.  I loved pilling on top of each other on the couch as the other option was to sit on the floor since we didn't have other chairs.  It never dawned on me that we were poor...not once.  Because all I knew is that I had a father who worked extremely hard and I was proud of that.
I didn't understand as a young 7 year old girl what it meant for my dad to give up his career in Japan.  For him to move away from his home country to the States.  For him to start from scratch and get a job as a car salesman from my uncle.  I didn't understand the sacrifice of it all.  
A few days ago, I was telling Rebekah how much I loved tenderloin sandwiches and thought it was funny that we used to eat them all the time and I don't know when but at some point, "Mommy just quit  buying them"...and when I think of it, same thing happened with the bologna sandwiches as well.  She said, "It's because bologna and pork tenderloin sandwiches were really cheap, and that's what they could afford."  ......................Wait, what?................Really?
It never even dawned on me that that's why we were eating them.  It was as though I'd been enjoying the play and someone drew back a curtain on the backstory and it suddenly made sense...not through the eyes of a 7 year old girl but as an adult.  All I knew is that at one point we were very poor and at another point we weren't and I never knew when that changed...probably somewhere around that last bologna sandwich.  But I would've never known because with the exception of the cut of meat, our life didn't drastically change.
I don't know if I'll ever look at a tenderloin sandwich the same again...I know it'll taste different to me.  It'll taste of sacrifice...the sacrifice of parents who wanted something more for their girls.  It'll forever remind me of the love they had for their daughters to give up their security for the sake of our futures.
Yeah, I love pork tenderloin sandwiches...now more than ever.


Anonymous said...

Love this story - reminds me of my childhood in many ways.

Amber said...

loved this. : )

smw said...

very sweet. i love your parents-does that sounds weird? it's neat to hear about some of the 'behind the scenes' stuff of the decisions that they made.

Anonymous said...

lovely story tam. just lovely.


leisle deisle said...

such a neat story! i love this, tam.

heidi said...

i loved them too...the sandwiches and the memories.

leah said...

aw, that is a really neat story!!

Janet said...

Still waiting for you to write your book :).

teresa said...

thanks for sharing. so much love in your memories ..... and those sandwiches. =)

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